Tuesday, August 26, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #266] Manchester Pride 2008

We made it back from Manchester relatively unscathed last night - 6.5 hours after leaving, however! Network Rail decided, of course, that this bank holiday Monday was a perfect time to do upgrade work, as no one must be travelling for the long weekend.

Manchester, yet again, did not disappoint. I don't know how this small, and in most people's minds marginal, city does it, but it pulled off a party far bigger and better than anything I've seen in London. I haven't been to Brighton Pride yet, and hear that's good, but even that's not four official days like this - and really, that's just London Pride Redux, n'est-ce pas?

Manchester has retained its place on my dance card and has proven it can outlast us. I think we were overzealous on Friday and way overdid it, leaving us in bed early (by Manchester standards) last night. Or maybe we're just too old for more than two nights Manchester style now.

Attached are a few pics from the weekend - more at http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=70573&l=2bf3c&id=713081334 if you want to see.

Cheers,
Shaun




1) - DSC00090 - Central Manchester from our hotel


2) - DSC00094 - Those famous Northern grey skies we had to deal with for Pride


3) - DSC00098 - Just after working hours Friday, the party begins


4) - DSC00101 - Russ always knew where to find me


5) - DSC00103 - Protesters meet revellers



6) - DSC00115 - Wolverhampton - near the historical home of the greatest concentration of Coleys; I see why they chose America!

Shaun Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism



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[The Life of Shaun #265] Budapest pics

Hey all,


Just wanted to get some pics of Budapest out. It was really a great city - it certainly has come a long way from life behind the iron curtain. Attached are a couple of my fave pics from the weekend, but if you'd like to see them all, you can see them here:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=70535&l=2a031&id=713081334

Cheers,
Shaun


1) DSC00019 - Exploded into our room, as usual


2) DSC00023 - Our courtyard with the synagogue behind


3) DSC00027 - Something unidentified in a toilet... any ideas?!


4) DSC00050 - Me getting frisky with the girls

Shaun Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism



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Friday, August 22, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #264] To Manchester we go!

To Manchester we go!
High hoes, the fairies go,
to Manchester we go!

Manchester is a place dear to my heart, and even dearer to my liver.  I am looking very forward to our bank holiday/Pride weekend there.

Have a great weekend all!

Cheers,
Shaun

PS - Budapest was fab.  More later.

Shaun Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #263] Budapest

Definitely a thumb's up for day one!  We had a typically hiccuped journey here - our flight was cancelled and we were rebooked on one for 16:55.  Turns out that was a good thing as it was 97 here yesterday and air conditioning is a pipe dream.  But we eventually made it, and it's been a blast.  I can definitely recommend it for your lists.

Now, I must go - I am melting away!

xo

Shaun Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #262] 1,068 days

Tomorrow is my three-year anniversary in London. There are mixed feelings about that, and the pendulum swings from day to day. Two weeks ago, when Rachel left, I would have waxed longingly about it. Today, it almost passed by without me noticing. As I am here longer and longer, New York inevitabley seems farther and farther away, and London feels more and more like a fact.

Perhaps it almost slipped by unnoticed because I have been especially preoccupied with the Olympics this year. Has anyone else noticed the proliferation of tattoos on this year's athletes? Counting the tattoos on Juan Guillermo Uran could be an Olympic sport in itself, and undoubtedly the one I could finally take a gold medal in. From Louis Smith to Amaury Leveaux, ornamentation abounds. Beijing is undoubtedly my favourite Olympics ever.

And sure enough, as ever, W was at hand to do his country proud.

BEIJING - AUGUST 10: President of the United States, George W. Bush holds up the American Flag the wrong way before wife Laura Bush instructs him to turn it around at the swimming arena at the National Aquatics Center during day two of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 10, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Cheers,
Shaun

Shaun Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #261] Olympics

So, who else is already embarrassed about London 2012?

Relatedly (sic), I am watching the first round of the men's gymnastics now.  BBC are spending a huge amount of time showing the competition rather than letting us know who on the team has a sister with cancer, who barely survived an overturned pick-up truck accident at age six, who lost a parent as a child or who hasn't seen their family in sixteen years because they moved to Assfart, TX to train for this very day.  Showing the competitions - at the Olympics! - ground breaking!  (Well, since pay-per-view's Red, White and Blue channels didn't take.)

Still, there is something missing; in America, they focused on the Important People (team America and its main rivals) and built up some drama - strategic pauses before scores, tense glances from coaches, a more true-to-life time scale.  Here it's routine after routine, which I thought I would prefer.  But it turns out it is a bit like a wine tasting without ever getting to truly savour a nice glass.

I haven't seen any other events (and won't, save the Michael Phelps show), but from the gymnastics, it's quite apparent this is China's party and we're all just there out of protocol.  I suggest everyone read this book now.

(Sidenote: Mom arrived safely and is napping after a nice helping of saag paneer and 1.5 pints of Cobra.)

Cheers,
Shaun

Shaun Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #260] Mom, Russ, Budapest, Manchester, Paris, Israel, Vegas, SF, oh my!

I was supposed to go to Brighton last weekend for Brighton Pride, the best Pride in the UK I am told, but my bank manager pointed to my current account balance and sternly reminded me that my delayed gratification for travel this year was about to blossom.  So I stayed home, saved a few quid and got to get a little more pent up before the travel season begins.

My mom arrives on Saturday to visit me and see my new place, which I am really excited about.  The day she leaves Russ arrives for our triad of Budapest, Manchester and Paris.  September brings Israel with Mary Keany, and then the dearth of October and November while I catch my breath before going to the West Coast for 17 days for Natasha's and Chris's wedding and ancillary festivities.

Which brings me to the point of this eMail - I bought my ticket for America!  And on BA no less, so none of this $6 for a cocktail rubbish on American airlines.

So, my itinerary for America, for those who are coming from the UK as well or those who are meeting me at various points in situ:

Fri 19 Dec
BA 193: London Heathrow - Dallas
10:45 - 15:00
(I know, I know, but DFW has a nice Taco Bell in the terminal, so I am set to start my trip off in style!)

BA 5065 (AA 5065): Dallas - Las Vegas
16:30 - 17:35


Thu 25 Dec
United 1503: Las Vegas - San Francisco
19:38 - 21:07


Sun 04 Jan
BA 284: San Francisco - London Heathrow
16:15 - 10:25

Boo.  :-(  I am already sad about leaving my friends and family.  But, I won't focus on that right now - Vegas baby, yeah!  (And SF, baby, YEAH!  And Napa/Sonoma, baby, YEAH!!!!!!)

So all you Europeans who are joining me for the wedding/party, see if you can get on my flight.

Russ, hurry and book on my same SF flight!

Bon voyage,
Shaun

Shaun Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #259] 2001

(Small plot killer here...)

Who ever said "2001: A Space Odyssey" was a classic? What a load of rubbish! Do we really need 20 minutes of kaleidoscope to signify transportation?

I saw it a couple weeks back and happily forgot about it, but my flatmate was talking about "classic" films tonight and reminded me about it. Total. Rubbish.

In opposition, "The Dark Knight" was great and I am totally addicted to "The Wire". "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" disk two just arrived and I will be all over that. David & Darrin, "The Inbetweeners" will be on its way to you shortly.

That's it in TV news from me.

Cheers,
Shaun

Shaun Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism

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Monday, August 04, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #258] "Interesting"

Our VP sent the team an eMail today with the subject "Interesting article in Daily Telegraph re bonus expectations".  It contained an article titled "Half of bankers face zero payout as bonus pools dry up".

Of course this has nothing to do with expectation management and is just a fascinating article he wanted to share.

<sigh>  I guess I am gonna have to put off trading up to a Chelsea townhouse (as if!) for another year.

No cheers,
Shaun

Shaun Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism

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